Friday, January 28, 2011

Embryo Adoption Birth Story

Last Saturday, Arizona welcomed its newest Embryo Adoption baby - born to our friends Todd and Jen. We haven't met the little bub yet, but we can't wait to do so.

For anyone new to the concept, Embryo Adoption is a form of adoption in which a couple formally adopts the IVF embryo-babies of another couple who cannot transfer all of their embryos. It is different from embryo donation in that a formal adoption process is used, in order to honor the babies and their personhood, instead of just giving them informally ("donation") from one couple to another.

Anyhow, our friends are the proud adopted-parents of twelve embryo babies - five are now in heaven, six are still in waiting, and one is now in their arms after more than five long years of infertility. We are rejoicing with them!

You can read their birth story here:

Matthew's Birth Story

It is detailed, it is intense, it is very moving. It also presents a viewpoint a bit different from the one I usually present on this blog, so that's a good change of pace. Check it out and see!

And considering that this was a very difficult pregnancy for my friend (hyperemesis, subchorionic hemorrhage, preterm labor, posterior baby, among other joys), I can now say that she's been through just about everything! Yikes! 

Welcome, Baby Matthew!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Medical Cannabis for Hyperemesis Gravidarum

On my hyperemesis blog, I have been posting information on the possible use of medical marijuana (cannabis) for the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. Please feel free to check out the links below, and feel free to leave a comment if you have any further information to share!

Not Just for Hippies

This Really is an HG Blog...

Did I Say This Was an HG Blog?

Must-Read Story

I am cross-posting this link from my hyperemesis blog. I have a passion for hyperemesis activism and awareness, and I believe that every birth worker should be well-acquainted with hyperemesis gravidarum, and its implication for mothers who contract it. In both the allopathic and the naturopathic medical worlds, there is an unfortunate and deplorable tendency to write off hyperemetic mothers as women who are "just exaggerating" normal morning sickness, and to recommend unhelpful remedies such as ginger and dry crackers. Birth workers, please educate yourselves on the topic so that you can recognize mothers who truly need help. And please do check out this story from one mother:

Islands of Grief, Mountains of Joy

I cried reading her story. Be forewarned, it is intense. But so desperately needed, as well. Hyperemesis is a disease that needs to be brought into the light, and we can only do that by sharing information and stories.

If you want to know more about hyperemesis, click the link over to my blog and check out the side-bars - I have a collection of hyperemesis stories and blogs and websites that will give you tons of information. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Great Posts on Optimal Fetal Positioning

Just when I think I've finally found all the good birth blogs out there, another dozen or so show up! Today I found one that I can't wait to catch up on - Natural Birth in Kitsap. Check it out! I especially loved a series she did on Optimal Fetal Positioning - a must-read:

Optimal Fetal Positioning: How Baby's Position Can Alter Your Labor

Optimal Fetal Positioning: The Fetal Head

Optimal Fetal Positioning: Putting the Pieces Together

Optimal Fetal Positioning: Putting Optimal Fetal Positioning into Practice

I can't wait to go through this more thoroughly and brush up! Loved the pictures, too! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

McRoberts v. Gaskin

This is so very, very interesting!

A month or two ago, I posted an article in which I decried the neglect of the Gaskin maneuver in obstetrical texts covering treatment of shoulder dystocia. Specifically, I said:

"I have always found shoulder dystocia (a birth emergency in which the baby's anterior shoulder is impacted behind the maternal pubic bone, and which can cause injury to the baby if mishandled or death if is not resolved quickly) a fascinating subject. Why? Well, (1) it's equally an emergency at home or in hospital (because it's too late for a cesarean), and (2) it's an emergency in which natural childbirth - and thus a mobile mother - is a HUGE bonus, and (3) the best resolution is usually through the Gaskin Manoever, which was named after midwife Ina May Gaskin, who brought the procedure to the United States.

"I have also found the subject of shoulder dystocia rather amusing, because obstetric textbooks often ignore the Gaskin Manoever (which is basically hands-and-knees for the mother) in favor of more severe - and gruesome! - procedures, such as the symphysiotomy (cutting the pelvis open by cutting through the connective tissue of the pelvic bone - OUCH!) or the Zavanelli Manoever (shoving the baby back up the vaginal canal and doing a cesarean - very bad results due to trauma to the baby and time from emergency to birth). Turning a mama over on her hands and knees is much more pleasant - and effective!"

So, to review:

- Shoulder dystocia is the impaction of the anterior fetal shoulder behind the maternal pubic bone, i.e. baby is stuck. It is an extremely dangerous situation; I have heard it referred to as "every obstetrician's nightmare," and the same holds true for midwives. Why is it dangerous? Because (1) if left unresolved, it is fatal to the baby, and (2) if mismanaged (i.e. by grabbing the baby and pulling), it can result in severe injury to the baby.

The two major methods of resolution that I hear mentioned are:

- McRoberts - Mama is flat on her back, legs hyperflexed to her chest, which widens the pelvis and gets the lower spine out of baby's way. It's usually combined with suprapubic pressure, which is when an assistant (usually a student midwife or nurse) presses down firmly just over mama's pubic bone in an effort to dislodge the fetal shoulder. This is the method used almost 100% of the time on medicated mothers, since it does not require movement on the mother's part.

- Gaskin Maneuver - Flipping a mother on all fours, which also widens the pelvis and gets the lower backbone out of the way. Because mothers who can do Gaskin are almost always, by necessity, unmedicated, these mothers have the advantage of mobility, which in itself can help to shift a stuck or "sticky shoulders" baby. Gaskin cannot be combined with suprapubic pressure, as far as I know, but it can be combined with the screw maneuver (splinting fingers against the baby's shoulder and turning the baby to get the shoulder out of the way of the pubic bone).

Other, less common ways of resolving shoulder dysocia include the previously mentioned Zavanelli, the symphysiotomy, and clavicular fracture (breaking baby's collarbone to compress the fetal shoulder girdle width).

Now, on to new things. A day or two ago, I received a comment on the above-mentioned post from Dr. Nicholas Fogelson, also known as The Academic OB/GYN, famous in natural birth circles for (among other things) his published work on the benefits of delayed umbilical cord clamping. Dr. Fogelson writes:

"OB textbooks don't ignore the Gaskin maneuver, they just call it by the Obstetrician that described it before Gaskin was born - McRoberts.

"McRoberts and Gaskin are anatomically the same thing, except that in McRoberts the pt is supine and in Gaskin the patient is prone. The hips and pelvis are doing the same thing in both positions."

This was very interesting! I had never heard this before. After thinking about it, I recognized the gist of what he was saying, but still couldn't completely agree. So I wrote:

I see your point about the equivalency of Gaskin and McRoberts; however, at least from a hearsay point of view, I have heard substantially better results coming from Gaskin than McRoberts. Perhaps this is because Gaskin mums are, by necessity, unmedicated and are able to maintain better mobility to aid dislodging of the fetal shoulder? Or from coccyx mobility? Or just the widening of the pelvis from an upright position? The last estimate I heard said that a prone (error: I meant "supine") position decreased the pelvic diameter by 30% (though I may be abusing terms here, or statistics). Perhaps some commenters on this article who are more up on things like this can comment. I, alas, am not an expert in any sense (though I hope to be some day). Can you comment on this, Dr. F, or do you see equal results between Gaskin and McRoberts in your practice?

My blogging friend Kathy wrote:

"Dr. F., my understanding of the Gaskin maneuver, is not specifically the mother's positioning of her legs in doing it, but the moving of her body itself. The Gaskin maneuver is described as turning a mother over -- if she's on her back, to turn her to hands-and-knees (which has never in my mind seemed to indicate "turning her on her hands and knees, and then positioning her in a crouch so that her knees are pointed towards her ears"; nor does the description of McRobert's Position sound similar in any way to the description of the Gaskin maneuver), but also that if the mother is already in hands-and-knees, to turn her over on her back. Ina May has said that it is the large movement of the mother's body that helps to loosen the baby's shoulders, rather than the specific "end position" of mom being on her hands and knees.

"While McRoberts may allow for the same type of pelvic widening that occurs in the Gaskin maneuver, and would seem to be much easier to perform on a woman with an epidural, I don't see much if any similarity. And speaking as someone who has given birth without drugs, I'd much rather try the Gaskin maneuver first, than McRobert's position, which I can only describe as appearing to be extremely uncomfortable."

One side note: Wikipedia lists the following "shoulder dystocia protocol":

"A common treatment mnemonic is ALARMER
  • Ask for help. This involves requesting the help of an obstetrician, anesthesia and pediatrics for subsequent resuscitation of the infant.
  • Leg hyperflexion (McRoberts' maneuver)
  • Anterior shoulder disimpaction (suprapubic pressure)
  • Rubin maneuver
  • Mannual delivery of posterior arm
  • Episiotomy
  • Roll over on all fours (i.e. Gaskin, note mine)
It then says: "The advantage of proceeding in the order of ALARMER is that it goes from least to most invasive, thereby reducing harm to the mother in the event that the infant delivers with one of the earlier maneuvers. Although this is questionable since, since the Gaskin Maneuver, or "roll over on all fours", is considered by some the most effective and least invasive maneuver, but it is rarely used in the medical setting." (emphasis mine)

Anyhow, I wanted to know more, so I posted the question "Is McRoberts the same as Gaskin???" on a local midwives' forum. Here are some answers:

From a midwife:

"I think that what the OB might be trying to get at is that both maneuvers are attempting to do the same thing. Open the pelvis and getting the spine out of the way to allow for the baby to pass. McRoberts is done with the mom flat on her back and Gaskin is done with mom on all fours. I believe that you do one or the other first depending on what position mom is in when the dystocia is noted.. With McRoberts you can also apply suprapubic pressure and sometimes that is needed to release the shoulder.

"I have used both maneuvers in different situations and thank goodness they were successful."

And another:

"Well there are similar elements, because McRoberts lifts the coxyx off the table. What is different is it is more like a laying down squat, knees by chest wall. Gaskin manuver does not rotate the hips as far. One of the key differences has to do with gravity, when you shift a mom into hands and knees the baby's whole mass moves. So you not only get the coxyx off the bed and free up space, the baby body falls toward the side of the uterus, this shift alone may help to shift the shoulder off the symphysis and helps the baby rotate. If the movement alone doens't shift the shoulders you can still grasp the shoulder from the top and try and assist a shift to the oblique"

Several commented on something noted above, that part of the usefulness of the Gaskin maneuver lies in the fact that mums who use it are mobile, and mobility (shifting, turning, walking, standing, etc.) are vitally useful in unsticking stuck babies:

From one midwife:

"Also, sometimes just the action of having Mom move gets the baby unstuck. I've had a couple dystocias come "unstuck" as Mom lifts her leg to get out of the birth pool."

And from a student midwife:

"I just have to share a really cool story... One of my best friends had her 7th baby, first homebirth .... about 6 years ago. I was lucky to be her friend/doula at the time. The midwife was stuck in traffic and so I was there with her and her husband as she was giving birth very rapidly. She was on her hands and knees and pushed and the baby's head popped out along with the water breaking. I was there and held the baby's head. I counted a few minutes and noticed that it was taking awhile and I turned to the Dad and told him he'd better be planning on catching because I sure wasn't so he came over to catch. A few minutes later, my friend just lifted up her right leg into the air. For no reason at all, she just lifted it up. and as she did that the baby's shoulder came out and baby rotated all the way out into Dad's hands. He was about 9 1/2 lbs. My friend didn't realize she had even done that and I was beyond floored with how instinctual my friend was! It was one of the first births I attended at home that wasn't my own and I was just in awe of my friend and the power of birth... if her baby had a dystocia, we dno't know. She just said she felt like lifting up her leg and so she did!"

From the above input, I would conclude the following:

(1) That though not identical, McRoberts and Gaskin do have similarities.
(2) Both McRoberts and Gaskin are vital tools to have in the mental tool kit of an OB or midwife.
(3) Having a mother unmediated and mobile is a definite plus when needing to rapidly resolve a case of shoulder dystocia.

I have a friend whose baby was so "stuck" that they ended up with not only shoulder dystocia, but what they afterwards called "tummy dystocia," LOL! They ended up using both McRoberts and Gaskin to get that little one out, and were thankful for both.

Any discussion, input, comments - always welcome! But all conversation must, as always, be civil, courteous, and kind, regardless of feelings.

Oh, and I wanted to make an apology - publicly. Sometimes, in reading over past entries of this blog, like the one Dr. Fogelson commented on, I am appalled at my tone - my attitude, despite my best efforts, can come across as combatant and sometimes arrogant. That is NOT the intention of this blog.

In America, we are waaayyyy too divided. It's a case of "pick sides, then pick up your weapon!" My vision for the birth community is not "Midwives win!" but a community in which there is mutual value and respect, where OBs and midwives can freely collaborate together with mutual respect, and where women will receive respected care in either home or hospital setting. I write a homebirth blog because I am passionate about the promotion and legalizing of homebirth, but not because I want to put down OBs or hospital birth. Indeed, I wish that there was more conversation between the obstetrical and midwifery communities, rather than the armed conflict that is so prevalent. Additionally, I have great respect for obstetricians and for their large body of knowledge, and I appreciate their input and their corrections.

So, with all that, an apology, with my promise to do my best to maintain mutual respect on this blog.

And now, comment time!


Later note: You'll see from the notes that Kathy left this video link - check it out! Good stuff!

Shoulder Dystocia Workshop

A Breastfeeding Mentor, Continued

Continuing from my last entry, "A Breastfeeding Mentor" (read that first)....

This is on the subject of how public breastfeeding is or is not compatible with the concept of female modesty as dictated by the Bible. I believe that the two go together, while others disagree. (This post, therefore, is religious in nature and would apply only to those who hold biblical beliefs, or other religious beliefs about modesty.)

One commenter wrote:

{This is my quote}"'Breastfeeding is not sexual. Breastfeeding is not an effort to draw men into lust. Therefore, the Biblical call to modesty does not apply.'"

"You are correct- breastfeeding is absolutely not sexual. God, however, didn't make men to enjoy the feminine form of woman for her nursing skills.

"Although it may not be an effort to draw men into lust- it still may- or it may be very uncomfortable b/c a man has had a past issue with porn, adultery, or just not wanting to see anyone else's body but his own wife's.

"The Biblical call to modesty does apply. The Bible was written in a time that the culture was very strict about dress codes, etc- but the Bible is timeless. God knew in His sovereignty that we would be reading it today- in 2011 and it would still apply. I would encourage you to put His Word above social reformation. If what we desire to do goes against the Bible- than it is not's just cultural competition.

"For the record, I nursed my children way past infancy and enjoyed every minute! Thanks for your post. :)"

Here is my response:

Hi!! Thank you for your comments on my blog, and for reading! I wanted to get back with you as soon as I could. However, I would like to say that my response probably won’t be too intelligent, because (1) my beliefs on public breastfeeding are still “under construction,” so I don’t have a well-thought-out system of breastfeeding apologetics, (2) I’m a rotten debater under any circumstances, and (3) I’m in a huge rush at the moment. But here are some random thoughts.

First of all, I am in complete agreement that the Bible is (for Christians) our 100% complete authority. No argument. Agreed.

- Regarding modesty – a bit of a tangent that may or may not have anything to do with what we’re talking about. Yes, the Bible mandates female modesty. However, the Bible is not prescriptive with regards to the details, i.e. it does not say “skirts shall reach to within two inches of the woman’s ankle.” It just says “modesty,” and I believe that this is because God knows that the definition of modesty will always differ by time and place and culture and climate. For example, in Victorian times, it was immodest for a woman to show her ankles. Period. In modern times, a woman can show her ankles quite modestly – because modesty will always be, in part, culturally constructed. By that token, I don’t think we can say that the exact clothing of Biblical times is what is demanded today. Our men don’t wear robes, and our women don’t wear veils. But I think I’m wandering. My more important point was that….

- I do believe that context and purpose are extremely important in determining modesty. For example: I’m completely okay with my children watching birth videos with full nudity. In fact, I encourage it. I am NOT okay with my children watching porn videos with the same full nudity. Why not? It’s the same body parts, after all! But it’s because the purpose and context are different. For the same reason, I am overjoyed to have my children see a woman breastfeeding publicly, but I am not overjoyed to see a woman dressed with really revealing cleavage or sexually suggestive clothing around my kids. Why not? The cleavage is showing less breast than the breastfeeding, after all – but it’s because of the purpose and the context. Similarly, a picture of a breast prepped for surgery in a textbook is not pornography; the same breast in a porn magazine with the exact same amount of nudity is. I go back to my original points, that being that (1) the primary purpose of the breast, by physiological definition, is infant nourishment, not sexual pleasure, and if a woman is using her breasts to nourish her infant, it is completely proper to do it in public, and (2) for any situation, context matters.

- Also, here in America, we have unnatural standards created by the prevalence of bottle-feeding. In many “old world” countries, which also have a strong Christian heritage, it is extremely common and standard for women to breastfeed publicly, and no one thinks anything of it. Italy, Africa, South America – public breastfeeding is considered 100% normal. Here in the West, however, where formula feeding has taken over, we have extended the cover of modesty to include breastfeeding. Most (or many) other places just don’t have a problem with it. If you subscribe to the “Historic Images of Breastfeeding” group on Facebook, you will see a ton of breastfeeding artwork from hundreds of years ago that celebrated both breastfeeding and public breastfeeding. We’re just not used to it any more.

Again, it also depends on the individual woman. When I first started nursing, I wouldn’t do it with anything less than a locked door in between me and the world. Now, I’m a lot more casual about it. I think most women also go through transitions about their comfort levels. I fully support any woman’s decision to nurse at home, to nurse with a cover, or to nurse without a cover, and I think that a woman can fully maintain her modesty and do so. I do think that it’s mostly a matter of cultural discomfort than biblical standards, and I don’t think that our rates of breastfeeding will improve until public breastfeeding becomes the cultural norm that children and young women can learn from. I could be wrong! That’s just my opinion.

And, as K. says, sometimes we are called to give up our freedoms in consideration of the comfort of others. It can be a case-by-case thing.

If any other women would like to chime in here, feel free!

And if that made no sense or was self-contradicting, my apologies! As I said, this is a new subject for me, and I’m still feeling my way through it.

Here’s an article that I thought was very nicely done:

Mistaken Attitudes About Breastfeeding

One last note: We’re debating here about modesty. But most of the negative remarks I’ve heard about breastfeeding have nothing to do with modesty – it’s a matter of sheer disgust. As in “yes, breastfeeding is great and all that, but for crying out loud don’t do it in front of me or I’ll puke because it’s so disgusting”. That’s really the reaction that I see most commonly…. And that is a completely different animal (which would also benefit from public breastfeeding, I think! LOL!).

(I'm guessing that this disgust stems from our obsession about breasts as sexual objects. For example, the Facebook debacle, where Facebook is currently deleting any and all groups that post photos of public breastfeeding, while leaving unscathed groups that have photos of scantily-clad women or breasts in other sexual contexts, regardless of how lewd. Our culture can stand any amount of breast sexuality, but breast functionality (i.e. infant feeding) is seen as obscene. In demonstration of this - We just don't hear news reports saying "Woman dressed in immodestly-low blouse asked to cover up or leave restaurant! Restaurant owner claims, 'I run a family-friendly place! There's no place for this kind of thing!'" etc. etc. etc. LOL! No, women are permitted to dress as immodestly as they like and use their breasts as sexually as they like.... as long as they aren't feeding a baby with them! Our disgust is with breastfeeding, not breasts.)

Thoughts, everyone? (As always, comments must be kind, civil and non-hurtful. All others will be deleted without response.)

A., thanks again for visiting! I’m now off to get the kidlets up…. Have a wonderful day!

Oh, and I’ve made this comment so long that I may just turn it into its own post…. I”ll have to see if blogger will even let me post it! (It wasn't happy, thus this post.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Breastfeeding Mentor

Sometimes (often!) we have people come into our lives who show us a better way.... yesterday, this happened to me!

Yesterday I attended a lovely church baby shower for a girl having her first baby next month. It was a lovely morning with great fellowship and awesome food (the women of this church REALLY know how to throw a shower!).

One of the mama-to-be's sisters was there with her little one (17mos), and I was blown away with her lovely style of matter-of-fact public breastfeeding. No covering up, no prudishness - when her little one wanted to nurse, she stopped, wherever she was sitting, and nursed her on the spot. (And an added bonus - nursing a non-infant! Woo hoo!) At one point, this was when she was up front and center with her sister, in front of a room of thirty-five women, most of whom are super-conservative Christians!

It was awesome!

When I'm among crunchy, breastfeeding-friendly women in the birth community, I too can breastfeed publicly with the best of them, but when it comes to the religious community, I do tend (to my shame) to cover up. When I saw A. nursing her little one yesterday, I came to a realization: "Hey! My Christian sisters need public nursing just as much as anyone! I need to get with it!"

So I followed suit.

Not that I'll never back-slide, but it was a big step in the right direction.

I should say that I am completely in favor of uncovered public nursing, in any and all situations. I just tend to be a bit of a hypocrite among people whom I know or think to be disapproving. Working on improvement!

Why am I, a religious conservative, in favor of uncovered public nursing when the Bible calls for modesty? Well really, this is an entire blog post in itself. But basically:

(1) Breastfeeding is not sexual. Breastfeeding is not an effort to draw men into lust. Therefore, the Biblical call to modesty does not apply.

(2) What is seen is what is considered culturally normal. In our society, women are free to bottle-feed publicly but are expected to breastfeed in seclusion. By simple cause-and-effect, this means that bottle-feeding will be considered the cultural norm, and breastfeeding the deviant behavior. Our country has absolutely abysmal rates of both breastfeeding initiation and continuation. Recent studies have shown that the United States is losing over 900 infants every year due to health problems caused by formula feeding. This will never change unless the cultural norms are changed, and cultural norms will never change until breastfeeding becomes the obvious, visual, seen cultural norm.

Thoughts, anyone?

And on a completely unrelated note..... Because NO ONE should have to live more than twenty minutes without tasting this chocolate-coffee punch (which was served at the shower, the recipe for which I have previously posted on my other blog), here is the recipe!

Creme Coffee Punch

1 (4-oz) jar instant coffee, regular or decaf
4 cups boiling water
4 cups sugar
1 gallon chocolate ice cream
1 gallon vanilla ice cream
1 gallon whole milk

1. In a large container, dissolve cofee in boiling water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Cover and chill overnight.

2. To serve, put half of both ice creams in a large punch bowl. Add half the chilled coffee syrup and half of the milk. Stir to partially melt ice cream. Use the rest to refill the punch bowl when needed. (At the shower, which had a lot of people present, we just put everything in at once.)


Happy Sunday! Off to get ready for church, late as usual!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Anger, Frustration, The Works

Life is hard for a birth junkie.

A Facebook acquaintance of mine (knew her from high school), just had her first baby. From her Facebook posts, she had the typical high-intervention, high-testing American pregnancy. During her pregnancy, someone (not me, really!) posted on her wall about the benefits of unmedicated birth. She posted back, "Thanks, but no - I'm just going to go to the hospital and get the epidural as soon as I can." To my best knowledge, she took no childbirth education classes.

(And this really is not an anti-epidural piece. A good friend of mine discovered that she loved epidurals, but because of her strong education in Bradley childbirth ed, she was able to get epidurals in such a way that didn't overly jeopardize a vaginal birth, and she knew exactly the risks and benefits of each procedure she chose or rejected. But parking-lot epidurals are quite a different animal.)

So, when she posted that she was in the hospital in early labor, I told DH - "Guess what? So-and-so is at the hospital having her baby, and I'll bet you anything she comes home with a nice little c-section scar."

So this morning, I checked Facebook: "Due to baby's size and mama's anatomy, baby had to be born by c-section."

And what was the size of this mammoth baby who couldn't fit through the pelvis of a normal, healthy, American woman with no known health problems or pelvic abnormalities?

A whopping eight pounds even.

Do I really need to say anything more?

It fills me with helpless rage and grief. What are we doing to women in this country?

Not only are we sectioning millions of women with no good cause (or with causes that are caregiver-caused), we are lying to them about it in order to justify it.

A too-small pelvis, and a too-big baby? Really? No, try:

- Going to the hospital too early, followed by....
- A first-time mom being put on a too-short time scale, followed by....
- Early medication, followed by....
- Prone labor position and the typical cascade of hospital interventions, followed by....

Golly, gee whiz! A baby who's in distress and can't get out! Quick, to the operating room! Thank goodness this mama didn't try to birth at home, because she and her baby would have died if she hadn't been in the hospital!

And yes, unless the mother starts to do research and finds some answers, this is what she will believe for the rest of her life. "The doctors saved my baby." And unless she does that research, she will most likely end up with repeat cesareans for the rest of her childbearing career.

For anyone who is feeling offended:

Yes, I know that there are necessary cesareans. And I know that I do not have all the details. This possibly could have been the one birth in hundreds where there was true cephalopelvic disproportion and a cesarean was truly necessary. Anything is possible.

But seeing it happen time, after time, after time, after time? No, there is not an epidemic of CPD. There is an epidemic of bad maternity care, in which practitioners and caregivers have every logistical, financial, philosophical and legal reason to encourage the unnecessary cutting open of women, each incidence of which has the possibility (and high incidence) of side-effects and life-long negative health effects.

And seriously, what can one do?

In individual cases, nothing.

If I emailed her out of the blue and said, "Guess what? You know all the pain and fear you went through? Most likely it was all unnecessary! Here's the website for ICAN!", what would her reaction be?

Quite justifiably, rage!

That's not something one can say to someone, especially someone one hardly knows. If she wants to find her own way out of repeat cesareans, she will have to find her own path.

And she will have almost no encouragement from the medical community to do so.

Normally, I try to keep this blog on a more upbeat note, but I was just so angry and frustrated over this that I had to vent. I ask my readers' forgiveness, and I will try to get on a more positive vein soon.

I'll leave you with this excellent post from Mama Birth, which was oh-so-timely for me:

The First Birth: No Do-Overs Currently Available

And in the meantime, Happy New Year!! I think I'll go play with the baby and try to cheer up.


As always, civil conversation is welcome! Rude, uncivil, or hateful comments will be deleted immediately without response.